How to: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: Star ingredients, how to cook a turkey, side dishes & techniques… this is a resource guide!

We absolutely love Thanksgiving (or Friends-giving, for those celebrating with found families). It’s not just for the roast turkey, butternut squash pie, mashed potatoes, and stuffing (or do you call it dressing?). Yep, at MilkRun H.Q. we love to eat—it’s basically all we do—but we also care deeply about bringing people together over food, making a whole day out of cooking, eating, and subsequently passing out in a comfy armchair.

If we could have a Thanksgiving spread out on the table, with all of our friends and family over and the dogs snootin’ around for scraps with music on the stereo and fall flowers in yellow and red adorning every surface… well, yeah, we’d love that.

Feast-heavy holidays only come around once every few months (luckily Thanksgiving and Christmas are back-to-back) so when we get the chance to do it, we like to do it up right. Go big! Then go home—stuffed full of food and ready for cranberry and yam sandwiches on soft rolls all week long. Eating together is a wonderful thing, why not do it up when you get the chance?

Here are some recipes we’ve pulled from around the internet (some of our favorites, some classics, some technical guides) as well as our star ingredients and what we love about ‘em. Happy Thanksgiving. Go forth and feast!

STAR INGREDIENTS

Click on any of these to go directly to the MilkRun page so you can add them to your Thanksgiving cart! Below our star ingredients are recipes & techniques for cooking with ’em!

Turkey — Right? It’s the star of the show and we’re not sure why people (us included) don’t cook turkey more often year-round. It’s delicious! Local, pasture-raised, beautiful birds!

Sweet Potato — Even though people often use them interchangeably, sweet potatoes and yams are actually botanically two different vegetables. The skin of a yam is tougher and more like a bark, but these sweet potatoes are creamier and softer!

Sourdough Bread — For stuffing, for sopping, for day-after-Thanksgiving sandwiches!

Purple Brussels Sprouts — A Dutch botanist managed a tricky pairing between a purple cabbage and green Brussels sprouts in the 1940s, resulting in a purple veined sprout with some of the red cabbage’s salad sweetness!

Apple Cider — Kiyokawa apple cider is a true gift from nature! This is the apple-iest, most flavorful cider we’ve ever had!

Radicchio — Take your salads to the next level with this phenomenal radicchio! The perfect bitter pairing to go with sweet squash and cranberries!

Bone Broth Kit — For gravy (and soups and stuff)! All the beef bones that you need for a beautiful, home made bone broth. Nutrient dense and delicious.

Acorn Squash — Acorn squash, also called pepper squash or Des Moines squash, is a winter squash with distinctive longitudinal ridges on its exterior and sweet, yellow-orange flesh inside.

Delicata — Delicata squash are sweet, flavorful, vibrant, and make a wonderful addition to salads or purees!

Conchiglie Pasta — Evocative of a ridged cowrie shell, Conchiglie is a master shape for cupping your best sauce loaded with small vegetables or savory bits of pancetta and sausage. Want to up your baked macaroni game??

Apples — For salads, baking with cinnamon, stuffing, making a pie, just eating raw, or whatever you need ’em for! The quintessential fall snack!

Cranberry Preserves — Move over CANNEDberry sauce, this year’s Thanksgiving spread has a new star! This seasonal treat made with Bandon’s Vincent Family Cranberries and the very best vanilla from our friends at Singing Dog Vanilla in Eugene.

Potatoes — The absolute best mashed potato is made from German butterball potatoes… you can tell in the name exactly why!

Pie Filling — Traditional American pies have made a comeback in the gourmet food world and we are proud to offer these high quality fillings to help the American family enjoy this magnificent traditional dessert.

ALL ABOUT TURKEY

Champoeg Farms Guide to Turkey — You can’t go wrong following the instructions of the BEST turkey farm!

Bon Appetit’s Easy Roast Turkey — This super simple recipe is a Claire Saffitz classic!

Bon Appetit’s Broken Down Turkey — If you want to pre-butcher the bird before you roast it for the perfect cook.

Serious Eats’ Red Wine Braised Turkey Legs — Less traditional than the whole bird but holy moly are these good!

SIDE DISHES & MORE

Joe Beef Potato Rolls — The quintessential potato roll recipe as written by the team at Joe Beef in Montreal. These are perfect!

Food Lab’s Ultra Fluffy Mashed Potatoes — So good, so fluffy, so buttery, and ready to soak up the gravy!

The Kitchn’s Crispy Brussels Sprouts w/ Balsamic & Honey — Do we need to say anything more? These are phenomenal… 3 ingredients!

Anthony Bourdain’s Brussels Sprouts w/ Bacon — Beef up your Brussels with a slab of Revel Meat Co. Bacon… it’s what Tony would want!

How to Make a Perfect Pie Crust — This is the definitive guide… nobody will top how good this recipe is!

Serious Eats’ Green Bean Casserole — Ditch the canned beans and go fresh for the holidays!

Roasted Whole Cauliflower — 5 ingredients later… you’ve got a side dish that’s as good as a whole meal!

OP Sausage Stuffing — From our friends at Olympia Provisions!

Bon Appetit’s PERFECT Potato Gratin — Maybe too decadent for any non-holiday, but the best thing you’ll have on your table this year!

Alton Brown’s Baked Mac n Cheese — We just really like cheese, okay!

Bon Appetit’s Squash & Radicchio Salad — We swap out pecans for hazelnuts in the Pacific Northwest but darn if this isn’t a perfect salad!

Holdfast’s Brown Bread — Want a little Scandinavian flair to go with your Thanksgiving dinner? Bake some bread (and pickle fish while you’re at it)!

Claire Lower’s Roasted Root Vegetables — This is the definitive way to do it. Don’t make a whole hoopla about it, just throw the darn things in the oven!

Chris Morocco’s Squash and Caramelized Onion Tart — Oooh boy, this one’s a real visual showstopper!

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